More than 10,000 books and stories rated and reviewed! - About this site

Writers: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
reviews of books and stories by author names and pen names

SF&F Timeline! 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000-Now
retrospective look at sf&f year-by-year
Best SF&F Lists! Recommended Reading
by genre, topic and length category
The Ultimate Guide to New SF&F Writers (from 1990 till now)


->

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

Y

Z

Year

Best!
















































->

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

Y

Z

Year

Best!

Asimov's SF Magazine, June 2006






ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION MAGAZINE, JUNE 2006
----------------------------------------------

James Patrick Kelly
"The Leila Torn Show"

© IASFM, Jun 2006
--/ cool media sf story
--/ idea award: sentient TV shows

Hmm... the future of show-business is "TV shows with personalities of their own", who bargain with actors and higher powers for better plot lines and ratings - I must admit it is an entirely possible development, as the computer simulated realities might (just might) develop their own artificial intelligences and character types, and set out to conquer virtual (and real) worlds. One of the most original ideas to come by in a long while, but overall impression from this story is marred by an ambitious and "over-the-top" writing.
review: 23-Jul-06 (read in 2006)

----------------------------------------------

Jack Skillingstead
"Life on the Preservation"

© IASFM, Jun 2006
--/ cool time sf story

One of the few survivors of post-apocalyptic world is sent on a mission to destroy Seattle, which is nicely preserved in the past, but can not quite bring herself to do it, tasting sublime pleasures of the Pacific Northwest, San Juan Islands and overall ambience of the "Emerald City". I would totally agree with her, as Seattle area is one of my most favorite places to visit. Joking aside, I thought the story is mediocre; it did not do anything for me.
review: 23-Jul-06 (read in 2006)

----------------------------------------------

Scott William Carter
"The Tiger in the Garden"

© IASFM, Jun 2006
--/ cool sf story

"A constable on a poor, out-of-the-way planet, is expecting a government Agent, an alien with unpleasant appearance and even worse personality. He is there to apprehend a terrorist..." Well, this story left me cold.
review: 23-Jul-06 (read in 2006)

----------------------------------------------

Matthew Johnson
"The Ninth Part of Desire"

© IASFM, Jun 2006
--/ cool sf story

This is "Astounding / Analog" idea-type story, which tells about simulating emotions by chemical and computer means.
review: 23-Jul-06 (read in 2006)

----------------------------------------------

Ian Creasey
"The Edge of the Map"

© IASFM, Jun 2006
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award

In a world overrun with computerized nano-cameras, recording the whole sum of Earth events for the benefit of blogging crowds and news industry, only ONE place has been left out - not covered by the cameras. As you might expect, soon all mysterious and fantasy elements of our world are taking refuge there, and on top of that, the whole spot (called "The Weird") disappears with an act of observation, like a quantum entity governed by "uncertainty principle". I loved this idea - one could make a glorious fantasy adventure out of it; but it gets under-developed and unexciting treatment in this story. It's really too bad. Michael Swanwick should collaborate on this idea with his stylistic flair, and a ghost of Henry Kuttner should supply an exciting plot.
review: 23-Jul-06 (read in 2006)

----------------------------------------------

Robert Reed
"Eight Episodes"

© IASFM, Jun 2006
--/ cool sf story

A curious story, written as a critic's evaluation of little-known TV series, which lasted only eight episodes - but the last episode reveals that the series is a message from an "almost-microscopic" alien spaceship to humankind. There is also some discussion about validity of exploring other worlds, and rarity of intelligent life in the Universe. Overall, this story had a minimal effect on me, which is surprising, considering Robert Reed's standards.
review: 23-Jul-06 (read in 2006)

----------------------------------------------

Rudy Rucker
"Chu and the Nants"

© IASFM, Jun 2006
--/ third place apocalyptic sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award
--/ awesome scale

Profoundly wild story, starting in subdued "trans-real" (read Dick' paranoidal) mode, and growing into one of the most visually mind-blowing stories in years. It even includes a current political commentary (kind of a farce, taking "right-wing" stereotypes to the extreme) - the story swims in a black humour like a sugared plum in a Black Russian cocktail, very stylish and ripe with all kinds of possibilities. Take this: nanobots are disassembling Mars into super- giga- computer (while Earth's dumb government is hoping to retain control over it when it's finished and make it to broadcast giant (orbit-wide) ads across the sky, among other things.) The orbit-sized computer soon stops doing that and transforms into a higher being, hungering for more real-estate, namely Earth. Splendid nano-cataclysm ensues, with haunting images of disintegrating reality - saved by an idiot-savant and an unknown variable of a character. This story could have easily been written by Philip K. Dick himself, I enjoyed it tremendously.
review: 23-Jul-06 (read in 2006)

----------------------------------------------

Beth Bernobich
"A Flight of Numbers Fantastique Strange"

© IASFM, Jun 2006
--/ fourth place time sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award

Very original novella, with wildly imaginative premise (numbers have a certain characteristics beyond "just mathematics", prime numbers especially approach personality-like complexity and are able to affect the flow of alternative time streams - an idea similar to numerology, but combined with speculation on time/space fabric' properties). An interesting Victorian background, lyrical prose and a deceptively quiet mystery plot add to reader's enjoyment of this stand-out and truly original SF story in recent years.
review: 23-Jul-06 (read in 2006)

----------------------------------------------

Overall strong issue, with emphasis on multi-media and mathematics. Good variety, and of course an unexpected "nutty" tale of Rudy Rucker which (predictably) made my day.


(image credit: AlphaKX, Deviantart.com)

Labels:


Click to go to "Dark Roasted Blend" site

COMMENTS:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

LATEST POSTS:

Collecting Pulp Magazines

Ephemera Interview with Avi Abrams

Enchanting Victorian Fairy Tale Art

"Then world behind and home ahead..."

Exceptional British Scifi Artwork from the 1950s

Space Pulp Art by Ron Turner and other British artists

Pulp Pleasures: Eando Binder

Great space adventure fiction from the 1930s
"Where Eternity Ends" and other rare gems

Also read recent posts:
Author's Pen Names - Most Complete List Ever
The Wonder Timeline: SF&F Restrospective
Space Adventure Article


SEE OUR MAIN PAGE FOR MORE!


EXPLANATION OF THE RATING SYSTEM:

"SF&F Reading Experience" is part of "Dark Roasted Blend / Thrilling Wonder" family of sites. We try to highlight the most entertaining and rewarding science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on memorable reader experience, not necessarily general acceptance by the critics. Have fun, and delve into our extensive ratings and reviews!

Most reviews are written by Avi Abrams, unless otherwise noted. Reviews also appear on our unique historical retrospective page Wonder Timeline of Science Fiction. Feel free to submit your own review, if a particular story is not listed here.


All major OFFICIAL AWARDS are highlighted in BLUE
("winner" has a letter "W" by it, otherwise it is a runner-up only)

Our PERSONAL AWARDS (ratings) are highlighted in RED and PURPLE:
--/ first place :
--/ second place :
--/ third place :

--/ fourth place :

--/ cool : (equal to fifth place)
ALL "BEST OF" LISTS ARE LOCATED HERE

These awards are given in the following categories:
- novel :
- series :
- novella :
- story :
- collection :

Also, there are our personal STYLE / GENRE SPECIFIC AWARDS. These reflect the story's content and the lasting impression on the reader:

--/ wonder award
sense-of-wonder, "visual intensity" and inventiveness

--/ idea award
originality of idea / concept

--/ adventure award
exhilarating plot, excitement / action

--/ style award
outstanding literary qualities, inimitable style

--/ romance award
intense and beautiful love / relationships

--/ humour award
funny and cool

--/ emotion award
touching, lasting impression, sensitivity

--/ shock value
altogether wild

--/ awesome scale
mind-boggling; further enhances sense-of-wonder

--/ rare find
very hard to locate, mostly from old pulps, never reprinted, etc.

Again, please feel free to leave your own review or comment under every writer's entry; also recommend us other stories you liked.